The EPA on Wednesday proposed a rule to reduce smog.
The agency is proposing to strengthen air quality standards to within a range of 65 to 70 parts per billion (ppb) while taking comment on a level as low as 60 ppb.
The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to review the ozone pollution standards every five years. The EPA last updated these standards in 2008, setting them at 75 ppb.
Agency scientists examined numerous scientific studies in its most recent review of the ozone standards, including more than 1,000 new studies published since the last update. Studies indicate that exposure to ozone at levels below 75 ppb — the level of the current standard — can pose serious threats to public health and the environment.
A combination of recently finalized or proposed air pollution rules — including Tier 3 clean vehicle and fuels standards — will significantly cut smog-forming emissions from industry and transportation, helping states meet the proposed standards, the agency says.
The National Association of Manufacturers says the ozone regulation jeopardizes a manufacturing comeback.
“These are the facilities that make advanced cars and trucks, steel pipelines, fertilizer to grow our crops and roofing and insulation that keep our energy bills down,” said NAM president and CEO Jay Timmons. “This new ozone regulation threatens to be the most expensive ever imposed on industry in America and could jeopardize recent progress in manufacturing by placing massive new costs on manufacturers and closing off counties and states to new business by blocking projects at the permitting stage.”
Photo Credit: Los Angeles smog via Shutterstock